Heritage Marine buys tug #3

Heritage Marine has been working with 2 tugs in the Duluth Superior port, the Nels J. and the Edward H. Mike Ojard has just purchased tug number 3. She will be called the Helen H. See notes from the trip to the Twin Ports below, thanks to crew member Paul von Goertz.
The picture above taken on Lake Superior on the way to Duluth. They arrived Duluth on Sunday morning, August 21st, 2011 going under the Aerial Lift Bridge at 3:50 am. The new tug will be named: Helen H.
heritagemarphotoNotes from the trip to Duluth: Mike bought the tug in Galveston, TX, then he hired a pilot to run it from Galveston to New Orleans and then to Baton Rouge. He and son Pat went along. From Baton Rouge the boat was made part of a barge tow and brought up the Mississippi and then the Illinois Waterway as far as Peru, IL. There the boat’s stern was lifted by a barge to reduce it’s draft and towed to Lemont, IL. Here the boat was ballasted down to get under a railroad bridge, which it just cleared by inches. As luck would have it, a train went over the bridge as the boat went under. When inches count, we did not need a train to go over! To what degree did the bridge bend under the strain of the train? From Lemont the boat was again towed north, this time to S. Chicago where we once again took over the boat and replaced everything that was removed from the pilot house in order to clear the Lemont Bridge. We left S. Chicago about noon on Wed. and arrived in Duluth Sunday 3:50 AM. We laid over one night at Lime Island at the southern tip of the St. Mary’s so we could run the river in daylight. We also stopped for a couple of hours in Houghton to take on another 1500 gallons of fuel.


  1. Carl White says:

    Can someone tell me where the Heritage marine Museum is located?

    I’m writing a blog on the Palmer marine Engine Company in Cos Cob CT and some parts were taken for the Museum.

    Is it in Maryland or Michiogan?



  2. Captain David M. Krause says:

    Captain Mike: Good luck, My family tugboat company here in Baltimore Maryland bought 2 tugs from the same company in Galveston, The J.H. Masterson and the Zeus (sister tugs) 2,400 hp in 1998. Zeus has been scrapped due to blown engine and J. H. Masterson is still working here. Good luck, David.

    • Jason C. says:

      I worked on the J. Harris Masterson years ago from 1993-1995 when I worked for G&H Towing… That boat used to smoke like a freight train……Also, Used to leak water into the galley when it rained real bad….Never worked on the Zues….I did work on the W. Douglas Masterson that went to Duluth though…. It also has sister tugs….Frances E. Haden…The Mars….and The Gretchen….All compact tugs…Great for shallow water…and freat for getting under the rake of the ship….I worked on all those boats….In my opinion…The best to work on….

  3. Ed Mackiewicz says:

    Saw Mike and Nels J. tonight on The History Channel’s “Great Lake Warrior”. This is great stuff for us natives now living out of the area. Mike, good luck in all your travels. Keep that harbor traffic moving and I’ll be watching for you on the tube!!!

  4. Awesome tugboat mike.

  5. Thanks Holly:

    I do have that website, however, it will not let me click on Results.
    I even checked the Duluth News Tribune website today, hoping something would be on there. Nothing.
    Oh well


  6. Ken,

    Blake and I will be in town on Monday, and the schedule doesn’t look
    very promising. Can you do something about that?

    P.S. You still owe me a Vitta Pizza for the tip off.

  7. Cool Tug. I have some books in my Shipping Library collection specifically on Tugboats. Interesting.
    Can somebody help me with the final results on the TransSuperior sailboat race. Results were probably in the Duluth News
    I tried to click on results on the website, but nothing.
    I think Scott (Scot-Free) finished second in soloing.


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